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East Mediterr Health J. 2015 Sep 28;21(7):493-7.

Integration of mental health into priority health service delivery platforms: maternal and child health services.

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Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Liverpool; Child Mental Health Unit, Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom.


in English, Arabic, French

Maternal and child health (MCH) programmes are the most logical and appropriate platforms for integration of mental health care in an equitable, accessible and holistic manner. Such integration has the potential to improve both mental and physical health synergistically. Key steps to successful integration include a) recognition, at the highest international and national policy forums, that mental health and well-being is a generic component of MCH that does not compete with MCH programmes but instead complements them; b) tailoring the training and supervision of MCH and primary care personnel so they can recognize and assist in the management of common maternal and child mental health problems, recognizing that this, in turn, will enable them to be more effective health-care workers; c) adapting effective interventions to local contexts; and d) investing in implementation research so that these approaches are refined and scaled-up, leading to improved outcomes for all MCH programmes.

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